High Blood Pressure Now A Global Crisis

I saw this article posted on May 15, 2015 by Pragna Patel, MD, MPH (CGH) and Barbara A. Bowman, PhD (NCCDPHP) on The Centers For Disease And Prevention Control (CDC) website, and I thought I should share it since the disease has become a global crisis. Also, we lost a close family friend late last year to Hypertention. He was only in his middle thirties.

High blood pressure (hypertension ) is also known as "silent disease or "silent killer" because we usually don't know we have it since it often has no warning signs or symptoms.

According to CDC website, the disease is a leading risk factor for cardiovascular diseases, such as heart attack and stroke.

Mayo Clinic defines Hypertention as "a common condition in which the force of the blood against your artery walls is high enough that it may eventually cause health problems, such as heart disease."

In the United States, 67 million or 1 in 3 adults have high blood pressure (>140/90 mmHg), and only about half of these adults have their condition under control. Worldwide, high blood pressure is estimated to cause 9 million preventable deaths, and is expected to increase.

In Nigeria, it has become a major health issue as well. A study by a group of researchers from Edinburgh University in the UK indicates the condition is much more prevalent in the country compared to other African countries. The research further reveals that less than 20 per cent of Nigerians are aware that they have the condition which put people at risk of heart disease, kidney disease and stroke.

The Department of Health and Human Services, co-led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services developed the Million Hearts® Initiative to address this challenge within the United States. It has set an ambitious goal to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes by 2017.

Million Hearts® aims to prevent heart disease and stroke by:

  • Improving access to effective care

  • Improving the quality of care for the ABCS (Aspirin when appropriate, Blood pressure control, Cholesterol management, and Smoking cessation)

  • Focusing clinical attention on the prevention of heart attack and stroke

  • Activating the public to lead a heart-healthy lifestyle

  • Improving the prescription and adherence to appropriate medications for the ABCS.

“Nigeria is one of many developing countries where the health services have focused on treating infectious diseases, such as malaria and tuberculosis, but in recent years, non-communicable conditions have become an increasing problem. One of the most prevalent non-communicable conditions worldwide, hypertension is responsible for an estimated 45% of deaths due to heart disease and 51% of deaths due to stroke globally.” World Health Organisation (WHO) reports.

Increased awareness campaigns, improvement in public health and increased funding for health care initiatives, lifestyle and regular check- up are essential in making sure the disease is controlled.

In terms of lifestyle, if you know you are prone to having high blood pressure, you have to help yourself by staying healthy (lifestyle change): eat healthy, reduce your salt intake, exercise regularly to maintain a normal weight. If you smoke, that has to stop as well.

I hope this information is useful to you like it was to me?


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